McCrory signs bill to overhaul unemployment law

September 11, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Gov. Pat McCrory signed legislation Thursday that will require people seeking unemployment benefits to contact at least five potential employers a week; the law previously required two. The bill also contains provisions to help prevent fraud, such as requiring job seekers to show a photo ID in order to receive unemployment checks.

The issues slowing down state budget talks

September 10, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

With the state budget more than two months overdue, legislators hope to settle on a budget agreement by Friday and to vote by the end of next week. Unresolved issues include funding for teacher assistants and driver's education programs and income tax changes.

NC film incentive program to get $30 million

September 9, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

State budget leaders agreed to allocate $30 million in the 2015-16 budget for film incentives, an increase from the $10 million allocated to the grant program for the first six months of 2015 but still significantly less than the previous program, which expired at the end of 2014.

McCrory signs bill to regulate ride-hailing apps

September 8, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

A bill signed by Gov. Pat McCrory on Friday requires ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft to pay an annual $5,000 permit fee and conduct background checks on drivers. Drivers also will be required to carry insurance during and between rides. Uber, which helped craft the legislation, applauded the regulations. The company said in July it plans to add 5,000 more drivers in the state.

Legislators want to tweak state driver's ed program

September 4, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

State senators are looking to make changes to high school driver's education programs following a recent study that shows a lack of consistency in overseeing the programs. Also, budget negotiators say they are close to a resolution on funding for teacher assistants.

NC test scores show little improvement

September 3, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Student scores on state standardized tests remain relatively unchanged from the year before, according to new data that was just released for the 2014-15 academic year. A News & Observer analysis shows 72% of schools received a grade of C or better based on their scores. About 88% of the schools receiving Ds and Fs were high-poverty schools.

Legislators seek to expand construction of jetties

September 3, 2015

(The Daily Reflector)

Some Republican legislators are trying to expand the number of erosion-controlling jetties that can be built along the North Carolina coast. A 2011 law ended a 25-year ban on jetties, also called terminal groins. Four communities – Bald Head Island, Figure Eight Island, Holden Beach and Ocean Isle Beach – are seeking to add jetties to protect coastal properties.

House negotiators find fault with Senate budget compromise

September 2, 2015


N.C. House budget negotiators aren't satisfied with a Senate budget proposal that restricts school districts' spending flexibility despite offering continued funding for teacher assistants and driver's education programs. Gov. Pat McCrory doesn't like it either.

Senate deal would keep driver's ed, teacher assistants

September 1, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Budget negotiators for the state Senate say they will keep funding for teacher assistants and driver's education if the House will make other concessions in the education portion of the budget. Programs likely to be cut from the House proposal include a $12 million Internet connectivity initiative and bonuses for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate teachers whose students score well on tests.

Scott Ralls prepares to step down as leader of NC community colleges

August 31, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Scott Ralls says state lawmakers need to recognize the community-college system's impact in North Carolina and get back on track when it comes to economic development. Ralls, who is stepping down as president of the 58-school system Sept. 1, signed an agreement last week with 22 private colleges to make it easier for community-college students who earn associate degrees to receive credit for general education courses when transferring to the private schools.